Author Topic: My clothes are church appropriate!  (Read 67745 times)

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exitzero

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2012, 10:08:12 AM »
I remember a story a woman told me years ago that stuck with me ever since.

She was 16 years old, living in an abusive house hold. The only solice she has was the church. She would walk miles to go Mass, because her father disapproved of her going and would not let her take the car.

She walked in a snow storm once, wearing the warmest things she had...jeans and a sweater.

The priest met her at the door and told her she was not welcome in dressed like that.

It was the start of long, rocky downward spiral that took years for her to pull out of.


Giraffe, Esq

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2012, 10:28:25 AM »
I remember a story a woman told me years ago that stuck with me ever since.

She was 16 years old, living in an abusive house hold. The only solice she has was the church. She would walk miles to go Mass, because her father disapproved of her going and would not let her take the car.

She walked in a snow storm once, wearing the warmest things she had...jeans and a sweater.

The priest met her at the door and told her she was not welcome in dressed like that.

It was the start of long, rocky downward spiral that took years for her to pull out of.

Oh, exitzero, that's so sad.  It makes me want to cry.   :'(

At my church, anyone who is super dressed up is clearly a visitor.  There's a large focus on seekers, so we have people from all walks of life -- and thus all types of wardrobes.  It's always been one of my favorite things there, how welcoming they are to everybody.  Even more so after hearing these sad stories of judgmental people at churches.

exitzero

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2012, 11:18:41 AM »
I remember a story a woman told me years ago that stuck with me ever since.

She was 16 years old, living in an abusive house hold. The only solice she has was the church. She would walk miles to go Mass, because her father disapproved of her going and would not let her take the car.

She walked in a snow storm once, wearing the warmest things she had...jeans and a sweater.

The priest met her at the door and told her she was not welcome in dressed like that.

It was the start of long, rocky downward spiral that took years for her to pull out of.

Oh, exitzero, that's so sad.  It makes me want to cry.   :'(

At my church, anyone who is super dressed up is clearly a visitor.  There's a large focus on seekers, so we have people from all walks of life -- and thus all types of wardrobes.  It's always been one of my favorite things there, how welcoming they are to everybody.  Even more so after hearing these sad stories of judgmental people at churches.

My church is like that, too. Anything short of naked is ok. I bet there would even be some people who make a case for that!

lellah

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2012, 12:14:22 PM »
Wow. I'm kind of overwhelmed by the response here.  You guys have convinced me this is a bigger problem than I had really considered. 

This Sunday I confronted the Bosom Bully and said very calmly that her public (and loud!) criticisms of my clothing were not appropriate.  I explained that, although she was welcome to her opinions, expressing these opinions in such a public way would really turn off people who hadn't been in church as long as she and I had.  She could have as many opinions on that as she wanted---I said this because she began telling me why she was right about "modesty"--but she also had to realize that not everyone grew up the way she did and we can't expect them to act as if they did.  I also told her that, should she attempt such public criticisms in the future, I would sweetly but equally loudly and publicly remark that "isn't it lucky for us that, while people look at outward appearances, God looks at our hearts, and that our church knows that." 

A lot of really good advice was given here.  Thank you all.  I should add that I'm not really comfortable addressing this with the pastor.  Not because I can't say "bosom" in front of a man of the cloth. He's just very shy, and I -know- he'd hate to have to sit down with this steamroller of a woman and tell her what's what.  It's his job, I know.  But I suspect handling it myself is not only kinder to him but ultimately more effective.

gramma dishes

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2012, 12:17:16 PM »
What was her reaction?

lellah

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #65 on: January 23, 2012, 12:31:44 PM »
What was her reaction?

Angry sputtering!  After I said my piece, I told her I wasn't trying to have a discussion about the merits of her position or mine, just to let her know how I would be responding and why.  Then I told her that I hoped she had a pleasant afternoon.  She just looked kind of shocked when I walked away.

jmarvellous

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #66 on: January 23, 2012, 12:32:23 PM »
Yay, Lellah!

I think you handled it beautifully!

gramma dishes

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2012, 12:41:17 PM »
Well done!   :)

BeagleMommy

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #68 on: January 23, 2012, 12:49:22 PM »
Bravo, Lellah!

violinp

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #69 on: January 23, 2012, 04:27:18 PM »
Congrats, Lellah!  ;D
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


VorFemme

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #70 on: January 23, 2012, 07:26:12 PM »
Evil and Snarky are wondering what the woman thinks a "bosom" is...............because it almost sounds like she thinks anything below the collar bone is "cleavage".  Not that I haven't seen a few people at the Renn Faire wearing corsets that have hiked their cleavage up MOST of the way to their collar bone..............but, seriously - from what I've seen, most people consider the bosom to be something a little lower down than the collar bone...................like two or three inches, anyway, unless the person is VERY tall, an extremely large cup size, or something. 

I do remember a turn of the (last) century writer who had one of her church going characters make a joke about someone wearing a dress with at low back that was trimmed with real vertebrae (in a time when high collars, sleeves of some kind, and long skirts were considered the ONLY proper public attire for modest women).  She also wrote in the 1920s and 1930s and mentioned "flapper" styles as well as using slang - but learned to give a little less description as styles began changing - it made it a little less blatantly obvious when she'd written the story........good writer, if just a little on the "religious" side for some people. 
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

hobish

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #71 on: January 24, 2012, 02:15:27 PM »

Way to go, lellah!

 :) I love a good update where etiquette prevails.
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MissRose

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #72 on: January 25, 2012, 01:15:31 PM »
Good update.  I'd rather have the religious leader of the worship space (church, temple, mosque, etc) address how people should dress for services either verbally in some way, in a bulletin and/or a website.  No one in the congregation should accost anyone to tell them they are not dressed correctly.

Hexteacher

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #73 on: January 25, 2012, 04:37:43 PM »
All this has reminded me of a story I heard in my church. 

A few years ago a young woman of about 20 years of age came in wearing a long skirt, tie dyed shirt, several necklaces and barefoot.  The greeter/sidesperson at the time said good morning and passed her the usual notice sheet and hymnbook. 

A few minutes later he noticed that she had sat down on the carpet just in front of the foremost row of pews.  As you can probably guess from the description so far this is a fairly traditional Anglican church with oak pews, aisle, candles, lectern etc. 

The sidesperson, a man in his sixties and in a smart suit, then sat down next to her on the carpet for the entire service. (I hope I'm that flexible at 60).

The next week she brought along several of her friends.  Several of these friends later got baptised. 
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Mental Magpie

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Re: My clothes are church appropriate!
« Reply #74 on: January 26, 2012, 10:38:18 AM »
All this has reminded me of a story I heard in my church. 

A few years ago a young woman of about 20 years of age came in wearing a long skirt, tie dyed shirt, several necklaces and barefoot.  The greeter/sidesperson at the time said good morning and passed her the usual notice sheet and hymnbook. 

A few minutes later he noticed that she had sat down on the carpet just in front of the foremost row of pews.  As you can probably guess from the description so far this is a fairly traditional Anglican church with oak pews, aisle, candles, lectern etc. 

The sidesperson, a man in his sixties and in a smart suit, then sat down next to her on the carpet for the entire service. (I hope I'm that flexible at 60).

The next week she brought along several of her friends.  Several of these friends later got baptised.

I am by no means religious, but that is beautiful.  I smiled at the support he offered someone not like him and how he was accepting of her differences.  Just beautiful.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.